Friday, October 4, 2019

Los Angeles to Move Forward on China Shipping Terminal

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Oct. 8, the Los Angeles Harbor Commission is expected to certify the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for the Berths 97–109 (China Shipping) Container Terminal Project.

This final SEIR has been years in the making. In a letter to stakeholders, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka spoke about finding out about “the languishing compliance with the 2008 China Shipping expansion Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and associated mitigation measures” when he first arrived at the port in 2014.

“With a focus on remaining solutions-oriented, I also immediately directed staff to begin a supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR) to bring about legal compliance and to ensure that we fulfill our obligations for the Berth 97–109 Container Terminal under the California Environmental Quality Act,” he wrote.

“After several years of required reassessment of the feasibility and necessity for each of the measures that were not implemented, including responses to many important comments from the public, we are now ready to present a Final SEIR to our Board of Harbor Commissioners for consideration.”

The special meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at the port’s administration building, 425 S. Palos Verdes St. in San Pedro, Calif.

For a copy of the Final SEIR, visit

Jobs Rose at Port of Vancouver, USA

By Karen Robes Meeks

Last year, more than 24,000 area jobs were supported by Clark County’s second largest employer, Port of Vancouver, USA, an uptick of nearly 4,000 jobs since 2014. That number includes 3,910 direct jobs at port facilities, according to an independent study update conducted by Martin Associates.

“The port has done a great job keeping us working,” said Cager Clabaugh, President of the ILWU Local 4. “They’ve attracted a wide variety of cargoes that keep the ships coming, and keep our members on the job, even with global trade uncertainties.”

The region saw several economic benefits, thanks to the port, including $753.3 million in wages, salaries and local consumption, average annual salary of $56,415 for every direct job created by the port, $132.4 million in state and local taxes, and $386.2 million in local purchases.

“It is exciting to hear the positive results of the port’s economic benefit study,” said Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “The Port of Vancouver is an important economic driver in our region and plays a vital role in job creation and continuing the Columbia River’s rich history of trade.”

Columbia River Floodplain Restoration

By Karen Robes Meeks

Officials recently broke ground on the Steigerwald Floodplain Restoration Project, work that would restore a habitat and control flooding on land that is home to the Cowlitz, Chinook, and Grand Ronde tribes.

The Honorable Suzanne Bonamici, Washougal Mayor Molly Coston, US Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Leader Chris Lapp, CEO for the Port of Camas-Washougal David Ripp, and Principal Restoration Ecologist and Project Manager Chris Collins were among the partners present at the Sept. 5 ground-breaking ceremony.

According to the port, the current levee along the Columbia River worsens flooding from Gibbons Creek and doesn’t allow the creek to drain naturally into the Columbia River.

About 2-1/4 miles of the levee will be taken out, relinking the river to 960 acres of floodplain, which was obstructed in 1966 when the US Army Corps of Engineers finished the levee.

Oakland Reefer Exports Rise

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Oakland recently reported that refrigerated exports rose by 20 percent in the past year, as it moved 119,756 TEUs from August 2018 through July 2019.The year before, the port handled 99,740 TEUs.

Beef and pork from the US Midwest are the port’s fastest-growing refrigerated export goods, with increases of 45 percent and 38 percent respectively, in the same timeframe.

Over the years, the port has been bolstering its cold chain logistics by creating new distribution capability, expanding operating hours to relieve export container deliveries to be shipped overseas, and putting in hundreds of additional electrical outlets to plug in refrigerated containers waiting to load unto ships.

The port also opened the 283,000-square-foot refrigerated distribution center Lineage Cool Port Oakland with Lineage Logistics and Dreisbach Enterprises.

“Our business partners are investing to meet increased overseas demand for US farm goods,” said Port Maritime Director John Driscoll. “When you couple their expertise with our infrastructure, it makes a compelling case for running the transportation cold chain through Oakland.”

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

New Coast Guard Cutter Commissioned

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard on Thursday commissioned its newest Hawaii-based 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, the third FRC to be homeported at Coast Guard Base Honolulu.

The Coast Guard Cutter William Hart (WPC 1134) was built by Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana and arrived Aug. 17 in Honolulu.

The cutter will assist in covering the 14th Coast Guard District, which includes more than 14 million square miles of land and sea, with units in Hawaii, American Samoa, Saipan, Guam, Singapore, and Japan.

“There is no greater reflection of the commandant’s strategic vision and commitment than the fact that as we commission the William Hart today, it will be the fifth Coast Guard cutter commissioned in the last two years here at Base Honolulu that will operate in the heart of Oceania,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander Coast Guard 14th District. “There is no question that by our actions and not our words alone, the Coast Guard is here and committed along with the rest of the United States in the Pacific.”

The William Hart is part of a greater effort by the Coast Guard to modernize its fleet to meet a more complex global Maritime Transportation System.

“This is a remarkable ship with increased seakeeping, endurance, range, combat capability, telecommunications, everything about this is a game-changer for the Coast Guard,” said Lunday.

Clean Air Action Plan Input Sought

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on the latest efforts to implement initiatives contained in the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan 2017 Update.

This meeting, the third one this year, is set to take place from 10 a.m. to noon on October 3, in the first-floor Multi-Purpose Room at the Port of Long Beach Administration Building, 415 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, Calif. 90802.

Approved by the Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbor Commissions in November 2017, the Update is a blueprint to fast-tracking the port’s zero-emission goals with a number of initiatives. The strategy includes more on-dock rail use, the development of a rate structure and incentives to create quicker turnover to near-zero and zero-emission trucks, more cargo flow efficiency, and lower emissions with programs such as a universal truck reservation system, staging yards and intelligent transportation systems.

Part of the Update involves up to four CAAP stakeholder advisory meetings annually.

For more information, visit

California Clean Air Action Day

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach and the City of Long Beach will celebrate California Clean Air Day on Oct. 2, a day designated by the Coalition for Clean Air as a statewide pledge for a greener California. Efforts toward that pledge include incorporating clean air strategies such as planting trees, driving cleaner vehicles and recycling.

The lunchtime event will feature food, music, games, booths, and displays of zero-emissions city vehicles as well as two new zero-emissions hydrogen and battery-electric yard hostlers that handle cargo at the port.

The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Civic Center Plaza, 411 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, Calif.

Everett Waterfront Housing Construction Starts

By Karen Robes Meeks

Construction has begun on Everett Waterfront Place Apartments, the latest project in the Port of Everett’s new 65-acre Waterfront Place Central Redevelopment, according to Calgary development firm Gracorp and local builder SeaLevel Properties.

When completed, a pair of four-story buildings, located at 1300 and 1400 W. Marine View Drive, will offer 266 homes ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments.

“Gracorp is aligned with our parent company Graham Construction to not only build a multifamily site, but truly transform it and take advantage of the rich history and beauty of this area,” said Gracorp Director Giuseppe Augello. “We are excited to work with the Port of Everett on the Waterfront Place Central Redevelopment. Given Everett’s and the region’s growth, 2,000 marina boat slips next to our project, and until now lack of housing along the waterfront, the interest in the project is very strong.”

The project totals more than 247,000 square feet. The North Building featuring 135 units should be completed by spring 2021, while the 131-unit South Building should be ready for the summer.

“This historic project will bring housing to the Everett waterfront for the first time in its history, and provide an early signal to the community and follow on developers that the Port is committed to implementing its vision of a vibrant destination waterfront,” said the Port of Everett.